The Swedish solar energy company Midsummer, provider of equipment for cost-effective production of flexible thin film solar cells, receives a loan of 10 million SEK from the regional development agency Almi Företagspartner Stockholm Sörmland AB. The loan is meant to support Midsummer's focus on production and sales of the DUO machines used for the production of flexible thin film solar cells.
Midsummer is a supplier of equipment for cost-effective production of flexible CIGS thin film solar cells. Midsummer's turnkey production lines are compact, fully scalable and enable small-scale production of solar cells and modules.
Swedish regional development agency Almi Företagspartner AB has now decided to grant Midsummer a loan of 10 million SEK, part of which is guaranteed by the European Investment Fund, EIF. The purpose of the investment loan is to provide Midsummer with increased resources for research and development of machinery for the production of thin film solar cells, known as DUO machines.
"Our loan intends to provide opportunity for innovative companies to develop innovations and business ideas that provide growth and profitability," said Fredrik Larsson, Financial Advisor, Almi Företagspartner Stockholm Sörmland AB.
"We sold a DUO system this spring to a foreign multinational company, which is yet another proof of the market potential for our system", said Sven Lindström, CEO, Midsummer. "The DUO is a compact, fully automated system for production of CIGS solar cells. It is designed for high productivity, operational stability and superior material utilisation".
Midsummer's customers are manufacturers of flexible thin film solar cells worldwide. An increasing number of companies see the benefits of the technology as it can be easily integrated in buildings (BIPV) - a rapidly growing segment.
Fredrik Larsson continued: "Through the funding we hope to provide Midsummer with the opportunity to develop and pursue its commercialization. It is hoped that Midsummer can become a model for other Swedish environmental technology companies. It will be interesting to follow the company on its journey".
Midsummer is one of Sweden's most high-profile technology companies and has, among others, been named as one of Sweden's hottest incubator companies (Almi). Midsummer has been named as one of Sweden's hottest technology companies and also been repeatedly featured on the list of the nation's fastest growing technology companies. Midsummer was the fastest growing cleantech company in the EMEA region in 2007-2011 (Deloitte, Fast 500).
Almi Företagspartner AB's vision is to create possibilities for all viable ideas and businesses to develop. Almi provides counseling, debt and equity in the enterprise all phases - from ideas to successful businesses. Almi Företagspartner AB is owned by the state.
The European Investment Fund, EIF supports the growth and development of small and medium enterprises. EIF's founder members are the European Investment Bank (EIB), the Commission and private European financial institutions.
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Midsummer is a supplier of equipment for cost-effective manufacturing of CIGS thin film flexible solar cells. Midsummer's turnkey manufacturing lines have a small footprint, are perfectly scalable and allow for small-scale production of solar cells and modules. Midsummer's customers are thin film solar cell manufacturers all over the world. CIGS flexible solar modules are growing in popularity thanks to their low weight, flexibility and durability. Applications are e.g. floating modules, vehicles, landfills, portable power generation and membrane roofs on factories, offices and other structures that are not strong enough for traditional glass modules. Founded in 2004 by people with a background from the optical disc manufacturing equipment and the photo mask industry, Midsummer has its head office in Stockholm, Sweden. Midsummer was the fastest growing green tech company in EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) in 2007-2011 (according to Deloitte).
About CIGS thin film solar cells
CIGS stands for copper-indium-gallium-selenium, a metal alloy that converts the energy of light directly into electricity by the photovoltaic effect (PV). The CIGS absorber is deposited on a stainless steel substrate, along with electrodes on the front to collect current. The cells are then connected in series and covered by a protective layer of plastic to form a flexible solar module. Since a stainless steel substrate is used, the modules can be made without glass. The CIGS solar modules are therefore much lighter, flexible and can be made frameless, to suit applications where traditional silicon solar cells cannot be used, e.g. on structures that are uneven, moving or weak. CIGS solar cells are manufactured by sputtering the material onto 156x156 mm stainless steel substrates. The solar cells from Midsummer are free of cadmium, a toxic material usually used in CIGS and other thin film solar cells. Flexible CIGS solar modules are gaining market share thanks to its high efficiency, low weight, flexibility and durability.
Source and top image: Midsummer